The New Moon (solar) eclipse on December 4th is in Sagittarius, an outgoing, cheerful Fire sign that is always looking for adventure. Ruled by beneficent Jupiter, it tends towards a celebratory, fun-loving, Santa Claus vibe — appropriately enough, since the Sun is in this sign in the weeks preceding the Winter Solstice.
But Sagittarius can also be uncompromising in its beliefs, and if you argue with them, Santa Claus may develop a “my way or the highway” attitude. The chart of this particular eclipse has a few difficult aspects that may put a bit of a damper on some of our celebrations, and stymie our efforts to make progress.
Eclipses are supercharged lunations (new or full moons) and the chart is in effect for about 6 months. Eclipses also often mark turning points or pivotal events in people’s lives, depending on how intensely the eclipse interacts with their birth chart. (As always, if you’d like to know more about how the current sky will be specifically affecting your life, contact me, and we’ll set up a consultation.)
I’ll take a few paragraphs to unpack the astrology for those who speak the language, then we’ll look at what pitfalls we might encounter, and how we might amp up the joy and celebration aspect this month.
(Cast the chart for December 4th at 2:43 EST. I’ve cast it for Washington DC, which makes the chart predictive for the country. Keep in mind the planetary alignments are global, the angles and houses of the chart are specific for the location.
It’s a South Node eclipse in Sagittarius, conjunct Mercury. It’s in a wide square to Neptune. Mercury’s square to Neptune is much closer.
Next we want to look at the ruler of the New Moon’s sign, Jupiter.
In mundane astrology (not necessarily in natal charts) Sagittarius can indicate outbreaks of violence. With Sagittarius’ ruler, Jupiter, squared by warrior Mars strongly placed in its own sign of Scorpio, I do expect violent events this month – natural or human-caused. But this same aspect can also indicate strong, effective action taken in service of higher ideals.
Mars is trine Neptune, sextile Pluto. Venus conjunct Pluto. The Saturn-Uranus square is within 2.5° of partile, and will perfect on Christmas Eve (or a few hours prior if you’re west of Eastern Time). The emotional/relational intensity of Venus conjunct Pluto and the extreme pressure of the Saturn-Uranus square also point to explosive events.
Note too that the eclipse is in the degree of the Ascendant for the USA chart (Sibly). This suggests it will be particularly strongly felt in the USA. Put the chart in a bi-wheel with the Sibly chart to see some other connections — like Jupiter conjunct the USA Moon, and the Venus-Pluto conjunction opposing the USA Mercury))
Take the High Road, ‘Cause the Low Road’s a Mess
The pandemic has emphasized how closely we are all connected in the modern world, and how much our personal lives can be affected by social changes. And changes are coming in fast and furious now. How we individually react to them will set us on the road to our future, so the choices we make in the midst of whatever upheaval is going on around us will be pivotal.
If we take the road of honesty, integrity, compassion, and spiritual growth, we can travel far. But if we take the road of lies, hypocrisy, and a hard-line, “my way or the highway” attitude, we will find ourselves mired in the traffic jams caused by our own and other people’s manipulation, deceptions, and attempts to control.
But taking to the highway on an adventure and exploring the possibilities available to us may be just what we need now. It doesn’t have to be a physical trip. It’s the spirit of adventure, of finding new ideas and opening our minds and hearts to discovering more about the world and the people around us.
Sagittarius always looks for truth in the bigger picture. It’s a sign of visionaries, seekers, and the law. Not making laws, but the just and fair administration of laws, because justice — which requires truth — is another focus of the sign.
Over the next few months, discernment will be key to progress, because many will be in denial of, confused about, or deliberately manipulating truth. Sorting the truth out from the deception and illusions will be our difficult but necessary work — work made more difficult by the fact that truth is not always easy to pin down, and is rarely immutable.
A mind that is open but not gullible, a sizable dose of humility, and a firm grasp on our values will help us steer through the environment of confusion, deception, and hatred that seems to be intensifying right along with climate change.
And like climate change, we need to do something about it. This means finding the courage to take the appropriate action, and follow the road that leads to a future in which the Web of Life on this planet is not only surviving, but thriving.
Finding and following that road requires careful self-inquiry and unrelenting honesty. Especially with ourselves, and perhaps a bit more tactfully with others. But always with compassion and openness to the ability of people to change and evolve.
The only way to move ahead now and get where we want to go, is to take the high road of right action. Otherwise, we will get caught in a pileup of hypocrisy, deception, lies and the insanity of those who have convinced themselves of the truth of various batshit crazy conspiracy theories, like lizard royals, chips in vaccines, and dead presidents being resurrected. (To run as a candidate for Vice-President for the opposition party, no less.)
We need to first be honest with ourselves, and that can be hard. But we need to demand honesty in others as well — in our communities, in our government, and in our media. Opinions are fine — we all have them. But opinions are not facts, and should not be presented as such. We can’t build a sustainable civilization on fantasies of lizard people, zombie presidents, and blood-drinking pedophiles secretly ruling the world.
A stable, just, and vibrant civilization can only be built on a foundation of facts.
Sagittarius is also the sign of faith in something larger than ourselves, larger than our world. That faith is not in any specific religion or path, but a faith in life itself that seems to be built into the human psyche.
This kind of faith is not wild fantasy. It’s a core knowing that there is meaning to life, and something bigger than us that we can discover.
What reconnects you to your faith? Time spent in nature? Reconnecting with friends and family or co-religionists? Meditation and prayer? Whatever it is, do more of it. That’s what will help us through the hard times and reveal the road we want to take.
Given the chart of this eclipse and the astrology of the year ahead, I would suggest that my readers who are magically/spiritually/ritually-inclined use the energy of a powerful Winter Solstice (December 21st) to envision and set a pattern for constructive change.
If you’re not sure how to do that, here’s a simple Solstice ritual excerpted from the chapter on Yule in my book "Touch the Earth, Kiss the Sky”:
On the night before or the morning of solstice, light a small candle—a birthday candle is fine—and let yourself imagine and experience your vision for the year ahead—the best year you can imagine. Stay with this experience until the candle burns out, or, if you are using a larger candle, put it out and relight it every night until it is gone, holding a vision of your year ahead for as long as you comfortably can. You might want to write your vision in your journal, where you can refer to it again as the year unfolds.
On the morning of solstice, rise before the dawn to greet the Sun—outdoors if at all possible. As you stand in the sunlight (even if it’s behind clouds) remind yourself that you are here for a reason and that your Greater Self is fully aware of all its incarnations. Your journey is yours alone, but you are always connected to your Greater Self. Affirm that you live your life on purpose as a sovereign soul who has accepted this life as a mission, not as a victim of meaningless chance. Welcome the gift of life that the returning Sun offers, and let its light awaken the light within you.
Blessings of the season to you,